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Blood Ninja (Blood Ninja #1)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,180 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Is Taro, a fisherman's son, destined for greatness?

In the course of a day, Taro's entire life changes: His father is murdered before his eyes, and Taro is taken by a mysterious ninja on a perilous journey toward safety. Someone wants Taro dead, but who -- and why? With his best friend, Hiro, and their ninja guide Shusaku, Taro gets caught in the crossfire of a bitter confl...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 17th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,998)
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Becky
Dec 17, 2009 Becky marked it as to-read
Ninja vampires. It was only a matter of time.
A&E
Young Taro is living the simple life of a fisherman with his best friend Hiro until he is assaulted by ninjas in his humble village.

Luckily he is saved by a mysterious ninja (hehehe) named Shusaku but before they are safe Taro is fatally wounded and must choose between death or becoming a myth - vampire.

Blood Ninja is an excellent book although I had a few issues with the end. It was like a Quentin Tarantino movie. But more on that later...

The characters feel real and the story is great if not a...more
Kristen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Imani
I wish this would have been translated badly over to english from japanese. Atleast that would give this book an excuse for the crappy dialogue that has now infected my brain.

I've never seen a book. That uses. So many. Periods. Throughout the dialogue. To explain. Things that could. Easily be. Explained without. The periods. At all. Thus we. Have sentences. Like this.
Except that they are badly written and much much more confusing. Did they really talk like that?
The characters reactions to....ev...more
Karissa
I got this book through the Amazon Vine program. I like vampires and ninjas so I thought it would be an interesting read. I was a little worried (based on the title and the cover) that this book would be too corny for me or a bit over the top. It was neither of those. It was very well-done and, if anything, a bit too devoid of any humor. It is also not a stand-alone book, which I didn't know.

Taro is a fisherman's son. At least that is what he is raised to believe. He is in for a rude surprise wh...more
Sherrie
I read this as a review ARC for VOYA, it's one of the few books they assign to me that I would have never read otherwise. It features ninjas who are also vampires, so my first question naturally was: are ninja vampires the Reeses peanut butter cup of literature, two great tastes that taste great together? The answer is yes and no- there was a great emphasis on the ninja angle and the bloodsuckers sort of got short shrift. The book was okay, but if a vampire fan reads it expecting to get lots of...more
Kate
Blood Ninja completely blew me away with its creativity. I mean ninjas and vampires... in the same novel. How awesome is that? But I quickly realized that Blood Ninja was also different for another reason.

As a reader and a lover of the Japanese culture, I almost instantly appreciated Lake's eye for detail. He infuses so much of the Japanese culture into Blood Ninja. From the lush setting to the epic tales, I was completely in heaven. However, for readers not familiar with Japanese culture, it is...more
Deborah Takahashi
Taro lives in a small village near Shimahara Bay in the Kanto Province of Japan and he dreams that one day he will become a samurai.When he was younger, he rescued his best friend, Hiro, from a shark attack and his parents took Hiro in. Even at a young age, Taro has all of the qualities of a good warrior, strong and true. Although he spends most of his time hunting in the forest, life for Taro is pretty quiet. However, his father had fallen very ill and he knows the inevitable is bound to happen...more
Beth_Adele
I was dubious at first, picking up this book already knowing it was another story cashing in on the vampire explosion. I was pleasantly surprised. The vampire part was, by all means, downplayed and I believe the story was better for it. It's like a buddy flick for boys in print. And it's not just for the boys, the world of Ninja represents for the girls too.
Though some of the characters seem less defined and not as full as some of the others, I am more inclined to believe it is because the char...more
Frezanda
Ninja is actually vampire!
This is quite an original story ( I never even find any manga that has similar idea). Because of that, I started reading with a jubilant mode, expecting to be entertained.
Well....
The execution is not as good as the idea.
First, I don't like the main character, Taro. Character wise, he was raw. He tends to be repetitive ( See second reason), a bit of an idiot ( but didn't know it), and somehow has the best of luck out of all the characters ( the fact that he's still int...more
Tabitha Olson
The first half of this book held my interest intensely. I could hardly put it down. But the second half slowed down significantly, and the main character started doing things that I had a hard time believing he would do (such as the incident with his bow). From that first incident, there were many more, and it seemed like a different set of characters had taken over the story. Also, the prose switched from engaging and interesting to dry and a bit verbose. As a result, I struggled through the se...more
Kyleigh Trott
When I read this, at first, I was confused. Not just a simple confused, but a deep kind of confused. And then it clicked. Vampires, and ninja.

Move over Twilight. No need for sparkles here.

This combines the best of both worlds, really. When explaining this book to people, I often say, "All ninja are vampires, but not all vampires are ninja." It's written excellently, I love it to death, and the characters are all just so animated. You get fiercely attached to them. Mixing in a blend of Japanese...more
Lana Ivy
Awesome-hello?! vampire ninjas? you know its gonna rock!!
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book once I got over the rather slow beginning when Taro stubbornly believed his ideals of samurai and honor were exact, only black and white. Luckily, as time wore on and with the help of friends and first-hand experience, Taro's world expanded and he was a much more likable protagonist.

And Shusaku, the ninja who saved Taro and later trained him, he was awesome. While Taro couldn't trust him at first, I knew that he was a great guy. He was a complex, secretive ch...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
3.5

What stopped me in my tracks when I saw this was the cover. It is beautiful, really. Seriously. I mean, when I saw the black pages, hell, I was in love. The synopsis sounded promising, and so when I saw the word 'ninja's', I was in.

I had a great ride with this one. It was fast paced and engrossing and super entertaining filled with badass Ninja's and Samurai's. Taro - our protagonist, is brave and strong - with a wise, charming and ultra cool mentor to boot (A ninja. He quickly became my favo...more
Neilr
I bought this book not realising it was a vampire book aimed at teenage boys.

I managed to get through it but the writing isn't the best and the characters aren't believable at all, they seem to change personality during the book.

It was one of those books where something would happen and I thought "that doesn't make sense but i'll keep reading and see what happens". This happened several times during the book.

One thing that wasn't supposed to be funny but made me laugh out loud was when a good ni...more
Sen
General Summary: After his father is murdered and a ninja saves his life, Taro discovers the connection between ninjas and vampires and finds himself being dragged into a bitter conflict between the rival lords ruling Japan.

Edited to include: *MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

My Review:
I've shed tears for this book (July 11, 2011 9:43 AM)! It is one book in a long time that actually made me cry; tears spilled down rapidly as I try to control myself. *totally admires Shusaku* It is actually the death of Shu...more
Myra Khan
This book is one of the two books I've read that mash together entirely different ideas and somehow manage to make them work. (The other book was Beautiful Creatures, which combines a dusty, old, boring town in the South- with a typical Southern mentality- with a very gothic theme.) This particular book does vampires and ninjas. I thought the same thing everyone thinks when they hear vampires and ninjas in the same sentence: "What?" but Nick Lake proved that it could work. :) He proved it so wel...more
Oscar
In Blood Ninja, the protaganist Taro starts as a peasant that fishes for a living, living with his parents and his best friend, whom he saved at childhood upon thier first encounter. But it all changes his family is attacked by ninja. He, his friend, and his mother were saved, but his father was killed an Taro vowed vengence. His savior soon came his mentor, when he had changed Taro into a Vampire to save his life, revealing to him the life of a vampire, as ninja, for all ninjas were vampires....more
BOOK BUTTERFLY
“Taro had thought that the bloodsucking demons were only storybook things, meant to scare children into obedience, not real killers that could step out of the shadows and kill peasants only three ri from his home. He felt a shiver run down his spine, and a sense that danger had landed in Shirahama, as large and ponderous as a beached whale. Then he shook away the feeling. No, he was safe there, with his best friend, and there was no such thing as kyuuketsuki-not outside the old folktales, anywa...more
Kulsuma
Blood Ninja by Nick Lake is full of action, twists and turns and suspense. When his father is murdered in front of him, Taro has to run for his life with the aid of his saviour, a ninja called Shusaku and accompanied by his friend, Hiro. However, the murderers; ninjas in the pay of Lord Oda, manage to run Taro through with a sword and all hope seems to be lost. But something unexpected happens. Shusaku bites him and transforms him into a vampire.

Travelling with the mysterious Shusaku, Taro worri...more
Joyce
Taro is a normal boy living in a village until his father is killed by many ninjas. One mysterious ninja saves him from the other ninja. The only way for him to be saved though was to be turned into a ninja. As he is stuck in between the fight of two lords in Japan, he discovers his real identity. This fuels him to kill one of the lords.

I started this book because I saw Mr. Gould read Blood Ninja 2. I thought that the cover of the first book and the second book looked interesting. Mr. Gould and...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
This is the perfect book for teenage boys looking for an exciting read with a gutsy hero and plenty of thrills and spills along the way. It appealed to me mainly because it's set in sixteenth century Japan, which is a country I always find endlessly fascinating and also because the concept for the story sounded so fantastic and amazing. The title itself, 'Blood Ninja' was hugely intriguing and had me reaching for the book nearly as soon as it arrived.

The story is about a young fisherman's son wh...more
Newengland
Bloody fun, that's what. Just don't go spoiling things by looking for deep characters or poetic descriptions. No, no, no. This is Saturday matinee stuff, so break out the Jujubes and enjoy (especially the red ones). I promise you an impressive body count by page 20. And vampires. Does that surprise you? You mean, you didn't KNOW that all ninjas are vampires? Where've you been, anyway? All those superhuman, amazingly-agile, stunningly-strong moves don't come out of nowhere! It takes blood (like s...more
Carrie
I read this book a while ago, but I'm writing the review now. Shall we start?

Now, when I first spotted this book at the bookstore, I picked it up, read the synopsis and thought: "Lame." I have been tired of vampire books for quite some time now and vampire ninjas just sounded straight up odd.

About a few months later, or maybe a year, I saw the first two books in the series on the shelves of my high school library (I was a Junior at the time). Desperate for something to read and deciding that I...more
Eojin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Keeping in mind that this is a YA book and therefore lacks the strong characterizations that would make the book more tedious to read for a younger audience - I still found the people to be paper thin. Upon finishing the last chapter, I had no idea in my head of what any of the characters look like, why they are motivated to do what they do, and honestly why I should be invested in them or care. The Japanese historical mi...more
Soluus
Dec 22, 2011 Soluus rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: vampire fiction fans, action fans, Japanese history fans
This book is kind of like Harry Potter set in 16th century Japan.

Imagine it: Taro, a boy of phenomenal importance, looses his parents to an evil lord. Filled with anger and dreams of revenge he sets off on a quest to bring justice to the man responsible for the ruin of his life. He is whisked away by Shusaku, a mysterious ninja vampire, who teaches him valuable life lessons and trains him in the way of the ninja. Taro defeats the evil lord---or so he thinks. Things are about to get much worse......more
Hayley
I really liked this book - it was fast paced, with just enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat without it getting boring. It wasn't quite as cheesy as I would have thought - what with the main characters being bot Vampires and Ninjas! Niki Lake did a great job on this book.


I don't give it 5 stars, though, because of the tempo of the book. As I said before, it was fast paced, and I like that normally, however in this book there wasn't quite enough time for me to digest information - su

...more
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2885318
My name is Nick and I write and edit books for children and young adults. I wrote a vampire ninja trilogy called BLOOD NINJA but nowadays I mainly do what could perhaps be described as literary thrillers. The first of these, IN DARKNESS, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012. The second, HOSTAGE THREE, came out January 2013 in the UK and is coming October 2013 in the USA. The third, as yet untitled,...more
More about Nick Lake...
In Darkness Hostage Three The Revenge of Lord Oda (Blood Ninja, #2) The Betrayal of the Living (Blood Ninja, #3) The Secret Ministry of Frost

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